Feel the thrill of turning a boring everyday road trip or a special alpine pass and legendary coastal road into an exciting ride at full speed? Porsche drivers will soon be able to do it from the comfort of their homes, transforming the real route into a personalized video game. With the innovative Virtual Roads project, created by Porsche together with the Swiss start-up Way Ahead Technologies, it will be possible to record any route, with the help of a smartphone behind the windscreen and the corresponding app, and transfer it fully automatically. in a database linked to an existing racing simulator (the German company has indicated ‘Assetto Corsa’ as a possibility). This process is made possible by specially developed software which, among other things, uses artificial intelligence to record the road and its immediate surroundings, such as guardrails and trees, and then redraws them as faithfully and quickly as possible in the form of digital representation in 3D.
For this purpose, the program developed by Way Ahead Technologies can draw on a vast graphic archive. Initially the project will be launched on a smartphone application but in the future it will also be implemented on the most popular driving simulators. As is usual in racing video games, the user can choose any car for virtual driving, the simulation of which is based on real driving performance and characteristics. The characteristics of the track are also realized in the most realistic way possible: an uneven road surface is reproduced by a suitably equipped simulator by means of vibrations, a curve traveled too quickly with an off-road exit. It is assumed that the system will give gamers the chance to also travel the roads registered by other motorists by offering, for example, the possibility for a Brazilian citizen to take an Alpine pass, or for an Italian to whiz along the roads of the Australian coast. “ After several years of development, our software is now so advanced that it can digitize routes up to eight kilometers long for Virtual Roads in less than an hour, depending on the complexity of the track, ” says Roger Rüegg of Way Ahead Technologies . ” At the same time, we are looking into further possibilities and functions. ” In the future it is conceivable, for example, to record and use data from the vehicle’s sensors, such as lateral acceleration or chassis adjustment, for example.